Voices from Livingstone
, indigenous culture
, women artists
, womenâs craft
, art education
, Laurence Yombwe
, Wayi Wayi Studio & Gallery
, Agness Buya Yombwe
, radio continental drift
Agness Buya Yombwe, artist and designer; founder members of Zambia National Visual Arts Council (VAC); Wayi Wayi Art Studio & Gallery, founded and run jointly with her husband, the painter Laurence Yombwe, Livingstone.
seven interview footage tracks and three clips (46'); 13 Nov 2012.
The conversation took place outside Agness' home, the Y-shaped house of Wayi Wayi Studio & Gallery (in fact, inside, after the first track since it started raining). Agness was busy preparing for the Arts and Crafts Fair in Lusaka. A thousand things were to be done; but she still made time in the evening to take me â and future listeners - on a journey of the Mbusa, the artifacts, the rituals, the ceremony, the womenâs teachings for life. Being a Tumbuka herself, it was her traditional marriage to the Bemba artist Laurence Yombwe, which sent her on a long journey of creative research and experimentation. In 1995, she takes the opportunity of a residency in Norway to formalise her research. This culminated, after months of preparations, in an extraordinary "Mbusa Ceremony", an arranged re-staging of Agness' and Laurence Bemba wedding (ubwinga), at once performance and research. The event initiated the artist-couple as well as many invited guests into the secret teachings of Mbusa, it married traditional women's craft to the realm of contemporary arts and opened new channels of communication between indigenous culture, Art, ritual, performance, teaching, and life.
For a detailed description of Yombwe's "Mbusa Ceremony", see: Deborah Hoover, "Revealing the Mbusa as Art/ Women Artists in Zambia"; African Arts, Vol. 33, No. 3 (2000).
This playlist forms part of THE WOMEN SING AT BOTH SIDES OF THE ZAMBEZI, an archive of life-story-telling by African women. For more information and how you can join, read here: http://both-sides-of-the-zambezi.tumblr.com/
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